WASHINGTON — Alabama and Mississippi lawmakers are vowing to try to get their states more revenue from offshore drilling, as Congress debates making significant changes to a law that already has brought in millions of dollars.
Shortly before Congress left on its summer recess, legislators proposed changes to the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, or GOMESA, ranging from an acceleration of payments to states, to eliminating those payments altogether.
Decrying GOMESA as “oil well welfare,” some Democrats have said Gulf states should not receive a share of energy production revenues from federal waters, arguing that the money could help pay down the federal deficit.
Gulf lawmakers, by contrast, are pushing that their states get more revenue more quickly under GOMESA.
“I fully support expediting the royalty payments to the states that participate in the oil and gas industry exploration,” said Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Biloxi.